A Moscow federal court has dismissed appeals by six Russian companies, including Sibur group, in a long running case alleging they were involved with others in 2004 in a price fixing cartel in Russia’s soft cable compounds market.
The appellant firms include Sayankhimplast OJSC, Sibur-Neftekhim OJSC, Sibur Holding OJSC, Sibur Ltd., Bashkiria Soda Company OJSC and Bekborn Ltd.
In a 5 March ruling, the Federal Arbitration Court upheld the judgments of two other courts in July and November 2013 which found the companies had breached the criminal law by forming the cartel. The cartel had resulted in price fixing and the division of the wholesale market by sale volumes and groups of buyers.
Originally, in June 2011, Russia’s competition authority FAS (Federal Antimonopoly Service) initiated a case alleging six chemical firms and “a group of persons comprising Moscow-based Sibur Ltd, Sibur Holding and Sibur-Neftekhim OJSC” had broken Russia’s federal antimonopoly law.
The other chemical firms were Pervaya Chimicheskaya Kompania CJSC; Bekborn Ltd; Caustic OJSC; Vladimir Chemical Works OJSC; Plasticab OJSC and Sayanchimplast OJSC.
However, six months later, FAS terminated that case because of expiry of the period of limitation of the 2004 antimonopoly violation and forwarded the case materials to the Russian Federation Interior Ministry to initiate a criminal case against the firms.
“FAS believes that actions of economic entities have signs of a crime under Part 3 Article 178 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation,” Andrey Tenischev, head of FAS Anti-Cartel section stated last November.
“The period of limitation for holding (the firms) criminally liable for committing a violation of this category has not expired.”